• Athena Center Leuenberg

Restoring Man’s Relationship with Nature through Self-awareness

Our disconnection from nature began when we started leaning towards the material instead of the spiritual.

Spirituality is an abstract concept that differs depending on one’s culture, personal perception, and belief. In general, however, it can be defined as an awareness of something greater, the integration with other living beings, and a realization of a profound sense of purpose. With the continual advancements of modern society, society has become more cynical and pragmatic, rejecting all other forms of belief that cannot be equated with tangible results. Our society, since then, has been built on consumerism, exploitation, and disrespect to nature.

According to the research made by H.W. Schroeder in the Scientific Journal, spiritual experiences result in a stronger relationship with the natural environment, and that a place in nature is “often determinant in the connection with the spiritual world”. Spiritual practices extend beyond what is intellectual or scientific—it includes emotions and meanings that tie with all forms of life in nature which are powerful motivators for conservation purposes. Spiritual experiences are directly linked to personal experiences, and the nature around us furnishes the perfect space for us to bask in the spiritual.

Our spiritual journeys come in different forms, which is why Shamanism is an excellent practice to connect with yourself and with nature since it is the amalgamation of all other spiritual practices in the world. Shamanism can be traced back to ancestral times, at the birth of civility, wherein one can experience the world in a way it was always supposed to be experienced—with the enthusiasm of children before it was repressed.

Shamanism is a vision of the world where everything in the material world carries a life essence, a spirit, and a connection to others beyond it. It leads to an edified perception of our interconnectedness; that we are all parts of a greater whole, which drives us to gain a deeper respect for all forms of life.

To quote Athena’s CEO and founder Simone Junod, “Everything starts with self-awareness”. Shamanic rituals, which are at the core of shamanism, lead participants to experience different visions and realities where they can receive knowledge, power, and healing. These rituals are meant to increase one’s self-awareness and connection with the natural elements. And when we are in touch with ourselves (self-awareness), we begin to experience the world the way it was supposed to—with reverence, appreciation, and enthusiasm. As a result, we begin to treat it the way we are supposed to.

Our shocking disintegration to spirituality, coupled with our obsession to chase only what is material, has caused our world to literally burn to the ground. We now find ourselves at a critical turning point in time. Fortunately, many wisdom keepers are still keeping the oath to defend the earth by sharing their ancestral wisdom with the general public. Indigenous tribes, even from the birth of civilization, have always practiced a collectivist mindset as opposed to the western sensibility of individualism. Instead of asking “what’s mine?”, indigenous people ask, “what can we give?”. Instead of wondering “how much money can I earn?”, indigenous people wonder “how can we make this thrive for all of us?”

The Indigenous population only makes up 5% of the world’s population, yet they protect almost 80% of the world’s entire biodiversity on their lands. They believe in the sanctity of nature above all, which inspires most of their spiritual practices. They rightfully believe that the only way for humanity to thrive is for nature to thrive. With the knowledge that everything is connected, and with a heightened sense of self-awareness, they have continually cultivated their lands for generations—taking and giving back to Mother Nature who nurtures them.

Spirituality and Ancient Wisdom cannot be separated. These are important for us to experience the world with a greater sense of meaning; for us to live with a collective conviction to protect what makes life beautiful. Destruction happens when humanity is driven to mindlessly consume; when we live in a world where the mindset “everyone for himself” is amplified. We must achieve self-awareness and acquire the wisdom of old before it is too late, before the result of our ignorance is already plastered on newspaper headlines.

Athena Wisdom Institute is one of the pioneers of sustainability where we demand the protection of nature and encourage spiritual growth and self-awareness. We are deeply passionate about creating a future where we can all live freely, peacefully, and prosperously. Sign up for our courses at athenawisdom-courses.com to join us in the fight for sustainability.